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Understanding Google My Business & Local Search

Jeff Huber Responds

Many of you were aware of my efforts to get Local search practitioners and SMB readers of my blog to communicate to Jeff Huber (@jhuber) which things they would like to hear about Google Local & Commerce via Twitter from him.

Well, with the rollout of the new interface and Google+ behind him, Jeff has taken the time and graciously responded to the post. I wanted to repost his comment and my reply to him as a post so that it would be more visible:

I’ll leave ‘totally’ or ‘intentionally’ for another debate. 🙂 Clarifying a bit — I’m a Twitter fan. I was simply looking for a rough measure of the attention to a given tweet, which I do think on average is low. I’m a pretty active user of ~all Google’s products (having built more than a few of them), and other products out there — e.g. Sometimes my response time does lag a bit, and sometimes I can’t say as much as I’d like about things that aren’t announced yet — sorry.

My response:


Thanks for stopping by and responding.

To some extent you are the unintentional recipient of frustration borne of 5 years of irregular, inconsistent, non-informative and often infuriating lack of communications and basic service from the Google Local/Maps/Places side of Google. I think that both SMBs and the professionals that interact with your product would agree….Most of those affected by Google Places are shocked when they feel the sting of a broad, scaled statistical approach to the very real pain of SMBs world wide.

My “totally/intentionally” comment, while perhaps overreacting or projecting previously felt futility, came when I read that tweet and thought that it was but a continuation of the “data in but no information out” and lack of transparency mentality that we have become used to in dealing with Places.

Although your effort to look “for a rough measure of the attention to a given tweet” could also easily be construed as a somewhat awkward attempt to extract data from a very real social context. When in fact it is a social context that is not just one more data point but rather the outcome of all the previous events that got us here… many of which you/Google played a significant role in.

Essentially your tweet was sent into a world made up of users/practitioners that are starved for information about a product that has a very real and profound impact on our lives. And for me at least, I always hope for better from Google.